Staff Reporter 

AH extends marijuana storefront moratorium


The Airway Heights City Council once again tackled the issue of marijuana storefronts at its meeting Monday, Oct. 7, approving an extension of a moratorium that was enacted earlier this year.

The City Council approved the extension on medical cannabis storefronts within Airway Heights, pushing the expiration date into April 2014. The moratorium would have expired Oct. 15.

Airway Heights is still forming its marijuana ordinance, waiting for a final document from the state to emerge. Development Services Director Derrick Braaten said he expected to produce an ordinance for the Planning Commission to review in either November or December, which would mean the City Council would take up the item in the following month.

In order to pass the emergency moratorium extension on its first reading, the City Council suspended its regular rules of order.

Braaten gave a brief presentation regarding the city’s capital improvement plan. The document calls to list projects that cost $25,000 or more, including roads, and other infrastructure needs.

The capital improvement plan factors in with the city’s 2013-2016 comprehensive plan review process.

“The overall goal with plans need to be reflective of one another,” Braaten said.

Among the action items passed at the meeting included the fifth year of the Sunset Elementary Trailblazers after school program. Parks, Recreation and Community Services Director J. C. Kennedy said this marked the fifth year of a five-year grant. The school district will reimburse the city for staff hours, according to the grant.

Another item passed was the final acceptance of the drilling phase in the city’s recovery well project. Public Works Director Kelly Williquette said the item would accept the project as complete after drilling down a 16-inch diameter, 225 foot hole for the well. The final cost of the drilling was $13,322.66.

“That will close this project,” he said.

The City Council also approved the first reading of a replacement to its conservation ordinance. Williquette said the department purchased new conservation kits for $7 or $8 to hand out to new customers when they come in to the office. The city would be able to track who receives each kit, and follow up with them.

Two fire vehicles were declared surplus and will be used by the city’s Fire Department for training later this year. Crews will work on their extraction techniques, prolonging their use of the cars as long as they can for the exercise. The Fire Department usually needs to travel to Spokane Valley with one of its vehicles and bring it to Airway Heights for training. By declaring the two vehicles as surplus, the city is able to keep its truck in the city limits and save some money on gas in the process.

Another resolution passed authorized the approval of an interlocal agreement with the Association of Washington Cities to participate in self-insured medical plans offered by the organization.

The City Council made its first move to amend its study session format by passing the first reading of an ordinance to add a second session each month. The new study session would take place on each second Monday at 5:30 p.m. in the council chambers, in addition to the already occurring fourth Monday meeting at the same time.

City Manager Albert Tripp said the city council received a copy of the 2014 preliminary budget, along with a schedule of items that will take place before its final approval in December.

Kennedy said the second annual Trunk or Treat event would return to Sunset Elementary’s parking lot Halloween night, with cars in place by 6 p.m. The community is invited to bring out their best costumes and join in on the fun throughout the evening.

During his staff report, Braaten mentioned that this month’s Planning Commission meeting likely wouldn’t happen due to a lack of quorum. This would mark the second consecutive month of canceled meetings. The commission currently has three members, with two open positions.

For information on joining the Planning Commission, which meets once a month, contact Braaten at 244-2552.

James Eik can be reached at


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